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26 Sep 2019
Movement for change
Suggestion View - 365
Increase in public transport fares

The govt has announced a possible increase of 7% in public transport fares to cover higher operating cost. 

This increase is excessive. Here are my reasons.

a) The govt now collects the fares for the bus operations and pay the operators a fee to operate the services.

b) The train operators do not operate on this business model. They collect their fares and pay their operating expenses. They claim that that fare is insufficient to cover their cost, so they have to increase the fares.

The integrated fare structure is unfair to the train operators. For most rides, the commuter takes a bus to the station and change to the train for the main part of the journey.

Take a typical journey of 15 km, of which the first 1 km is by bus and the next 14 km is by train. The integrated fare structures gives $0.88 to the bus (adult fare) and $0.80 to the train operator.  It is no wonder that the bus operators are profitable and the train operators are loss making. The fare structure is lopsided.

To address this imbalance, the fare for short distance should be reduced. It would be fairer for the bus to receive $0.40 for the first 1 km and the train to receive $1.23 for the next 14 km.

There is now a conflict of interest. The govt collects the fares for the bus operations. They are getting a disproportionately larger share of the fares. 

The train operators show a loss and the public has to pay an increased fare.

This lopsided fare structure has another big negative impact. It allows the govt to operate the bus services inefficiently, as the wasteful expenses can be covered by the higher share of the fares given to them. If the fares are set at a lower level, the govt will have to streamline the bus services to operate more efficiently.

Currently we are operating too many bus services leading to a lower occupancy rate. This wasteful network needs to be rationalized.

I call on the govt to recognize the flaw in the current fare structure and change it to remove the flaw.

If the govt change the fare structure to give a lower fare for short distances, it will allow a larger proportion of the fare to be given to the train operators. They will probably be able to cover their expenses without the proposed increase in fares.

Minister Khaw - are you listening?

Tan Kin Lian

Vote - do you agree that the fare should be rationalised to give a fairer distribution to the bus and train operators?


Agree: 10  Disagree: 3  Vote  Comment (3)